Sugar (American band)

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Origin Minneapolis, Minnesota, US
Genres Alternative rock
Years active 1992–1995[1]
Labels Rykodisc
Creation (UK)
Past members Bob Mould
David Barbe
Malcolm Travis

Sugar was an American alternative rock band of the early 1990s. Formed in 1992, they were led by the singer and guitarist Bob Mould (ex-Hüsker Dü), alongside bassist David Barbe (ex-Mercyland) and drummer Malcolm Travis (ex-Human Sexual Response).[2]


After frontman, Bob Mould departed from Hüsker Dü, he released two solo ventures, Workbook and Black Sheets of Rain; both albums were not well received and Mould was released from his contract with Virgin Records America in 1991 as a result.[3] Shortly after, Mould recorded a demo tape of over thirty songs and formed Sugar with David Barbe and Malcolm Travis.[4] The band was named in an Athens, GA Waffle House Restaurant when Mould spotted a sugar packet on the table where he and the other two band members were sitting. Their first concert was on February 20, 1992, at the 40 Watt Club in Athens, Georgia,[4] after a few weeks warming up in R.E.M.'s downtown practice space.

Later in 1992, the band released the album Copper Blue on Rykodisc in the US and Creation Records in the UK.[4] Copper Blue was named Album Of The Year 1992 by NME.[5] The music videos for the singles "If I Can't Change Your Mind" and "Helpless" received extensive air time on MTV shortly after the album's release.[1] The single for "If I Can't Change Your Mind" had moderate success in the UK Singles Chart.[2]

In the spring of 1993, they released Beaster, an EP of material recorded during the Copper Blue sessions. The album proved to be more aggressive than the content on Copper Blue.[1] After an abortive attempt to record a second album, the band regrouped and released File Under: Easy Listening in September 1994. It reached No. 7 in the UK Albums Chart.[2]

A b-side compilation album, Besides, followed in July 1995. The band played their final show in Japan in 1995,[6] Mould broke the band up in spring 1996.[2] Barbe wished to spend more time with his growing family and expand his solo career. Travis took over the drumming slot in Kustomized.

Bob Mould spent the summer of 2012 touring and playing Copper Blue in its entirety.[7]


Sugar discography
Studio albums 3
Live albums 1
Compilation albums 3
Singles 8

The discography of Sugar consists of three studio albums, one compilation album, one live album, two boxsets and eight singles.


Year Information[2] Chart positions
1992 Copper Blue
  • Labels: Rykodisc, Creation
  • Released: September 1992
1993 Beaster (EP)
  • Labels: Rykodisc, Creation
  • Released: April 1993
130 3
1994 File Under: Easy Listening
  • Labels: Rykodisc, Creation
  • Released: September 1994
50 7
1995 Besides (compilation)
  • Labels: Rykodisc, Creation
  • Released: June 1995
2013 The Joke Is Always on Us, Sometimes. (live album)
  • Labels: Edsel Records
  • Released: November 2013
  • Notes: Originally packaged with the first 25,000 copies of Besides


  • A Box of Sugar (Edsel, 2013) – 5xLP
  • Complete Recordings 1992-1995 (Edsel, 2014) – 5xCD


  • All singles were released on both Creation and Rykodisc; except where indicated.
Year Title[10] Chart positions Album
1992 "Changes" (Creation) Copper Blue
"Helpless" (Rykodisc) 5
"A Good Idea" 65
1993 "If I Can't Change Your Mind" 30
"Tilted" (Creation) 48 Beaster
1994 "Your Favorite Thing" 14 40 File Under: Easy Listening
"Believe What You're Saying" 73
1995 "Gee Angel" (Rykodisc)


  1. ^ a b c Bogdanov;, Vladimir; Thomas Erlewine, Stephen; Woodstra, Chris (2001). All Music Guide: The Definitive Guide to Popular Music (4th ed.). San Francisco: Backbeat Books/All Media Guide. p. 370. ISBN 9780879306274. Retrieved 7 March 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. p. 951. ISBN 1-84195-017-3. 
  3. ^ Buckley, Peter (2003). The Rough Guide to Rock (3rd ed.). London; New York: Penguin Group. p. 1036. ISBN 9781843531050. Retrieved 7 March 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c Earles, Andrew (2010). Hüsker Dü : the story of the noise-pop pioneers who launched modern rock. Minneapolis: Voyageur Press. p. 219. ISBN 9780760335048. 
  5. ^ Earles, Andrew (2014). Gimme indie rock : 500 essential American underground rock albums 1981-1996. Minneapolis: Voyageur Press. p. 311. ISBN 9780760346488. Retrieved 7 March 2016. 
  6. ^ Earles, Andrew (2010). Hüsker Dü : the story of the noise-pop pioneers who launched modern rock. Minneapolis: Voyageur Press. pp. 220–221. ISBN 9780760335048. 
  7. ^ Danton, Eric R. (August 27, 2012). "Album Premiere: Bob Mould, 'Silver Age'". Retrieved September 24, 2012. Mould spent most of the summer playing Copper Blue at festivals 
  8. ^ a b "allmusic ((( Sugar > Awards )))". Billboard. Retrieved 2015-08-10. 
  9. ^ a b "The Official Charts Company - Sugar". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2015-08-10. 
  10. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 538–539. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 

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